Qatar’s chief-of-staff has attended the first meeting of the Gulf’s army commanders in Kuwait since the start of the worst political crisis to hit the oil-rich region.
Ghanim bin Shaheen al-Ghanim took part in the Gulf Cooperation Council Supreme Military Committee (GCC-SMC) meeting on Monday, the official Kuwaiti news agency reported.
Kuwaiti Chief-of-Staff Mohammed al-Khoder used the meeting to call for an end to the year-long Saudi-led boycott of Qatar.
“The region is going through accelerating challenges. It is imperative that we preserve Gulf bonds and join forces to preserve this organisation and move away from anything that disturbs Gulf unity,” Khoder said, according to The New Arab‘s Arabic-language service.
A Kuwaiti official said earlier this week that the Gulf military chiefs would also meet with US Central Command officials and Egyptian and Jordanian military representatives for talks on defence cooperation on Wednesday.
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – along with Egypt and Bahrain – announced they were cutting ties with Qatar, accusing the emirate of ties to both Sunni Islamist extremists and Shia Iran.
Qatar has categorically denied the allegations.
Kuwait has led mediation efforts to resolve the 15-month crisis.
The meetings come just over a week after Pentagon chief James Mattis and Centcom head General Joseph Votel held talks in the Gulf.
In July, Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid al-Jarallah said his country was considering US proposals for a strategic alliance in the Middle East to counter Iran’s influence in the region.
Read the full article on The New Arab, September 10, 2018